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Benefits Byte: All 2017 Issues


December 22, 2017

  • Final Tax Reform Text, Comparison Chart Now Available
  • IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing 2017 Forms 1095-C and 1095-B
  • Federal Court Vacates EEOC Final Wellness Plan Regulations
  • PBGC Issues Final Rule Expanding Missing Participants Program

December 20, 2017

  • Congress Approves Tax Bill, Considering Spending, Health Care Measures Before Year-End
  • Treasury, IRS Update Mortality Tables

December 18, 2017

  • GOP Final Tax Bill Set for Final Votes, Includes Numerous Miscellaneous Benefit Changes

December 15, 2017

  • GOP Releases Final Tax Bill; Includes Numerous Miscellaneous Benefit Changes

December 14, 2017

  • Lawmakers Reintroduce Bill to Expand Electronic Disclosure of Retirement Information
  • Bipartisan Workplace Retirement Bill Reintroduced in House
  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 13: Employee Benefits Past, Present and Future, featuring Council President James Klein and Benefits Legend David Walker

December 12, 2017

  • New Legislation Introduced Providing Further Delay of ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Relief from ACA Employer Mandate; Council Urges Lawmakers to Act Before Year-End
  • Council Comments on DOL Disability Claims Rule
  • Council Brief Supports Supreme Court Review of Cash Balance Conversion Case

December 11, 2017

  • Council Urges Congress to Take Action on Key Health Policy Priorities Before Year End
  • Staff Update: New Role for Katy Spangler with American Benefits Council

December 7, 2017

  • Council Urges Support for Federal Voluntary Paid Leave Standard as House Committee Discusses Issue
  • DOL Releases Sample Form 5500 for 2017

December 5, 2017

  • Congressional Conferees to Negotiate Compromise Tax Bill
  • Rep. Neal Introduces Two Retirement Savings Measures: Auto 401(k)s, Plan Simplification

November 28, 2017

  • Senate to Begin Debate of Tax Reform Legislation; Updated Chart Available
  • DOL Submits AHP Rule for OMB Approval; New Blueprint Summary of Presidential Order Available
  • DOL Officially Delays Final Rule on Disability Claims Procedure
  • DOL Extends Delay of Fiduciary Rule Exemptions

November 16, 2017

  • Senate Finance Committee Considers Revised Tax Bill, Council Issues Statement, Updates Blueprint Summary
  • Council Amicus Brief Advocates for Sound Fiduciary Process in Stable Value Fund Case

November 13, 2017

  • Senate Finance Committee Begins Consideration of Tax Bill; Council Summary Available
  • ERISA Advisory Council Recommends “Quick Reference Guide” Safe Harbor to DOL
  • IRS Updates Priority Regulatory Guidance Plan for 2017-2018
  • IRS Permits Paid Leave Donation for California Wildfires Relief

November 9, 2017

  • Committee Passes Revised House Tax Bill With Restored Current-Law Treatment of NQDC; Senate Version of Tax Legislation Unveiled

November 8, 2017

  • Voluntary, Uniform Paid Leave Legislation Introduced in Congress; Council Resources Available to Help Companies Comply with Current Requirements
  • IRS Releases Employer Shared Responsibility Payment Notification Letter
  • Council Supports Supreme Court Review of Retiree Health Case

November 6, 2017

  • House Committee Begins Review of Tax Reform Bill; Council Summary Available
  • Bill to Increase Cash-Out Limits Introduced in the House
  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 12: From Here to Retirement Security, Featuring Bob Reynolds, President and CEO, Great West Financial and Putnam Investments

November 2, 2017

  • Tax Reform Bill Unveiled: Includes Some Benefit Plan Provisions, 401(k) Tax Deferral Safe – For Now
  • IRS Updates Q&A on Making Employer Shared Responsibility Payments
  • IRS Issues Guidance on HRAs for Small Businesses; Possible Prelude to Large Employer Action
  • Fiduciary Breach Unjustified in Target-Date Fund Appeal

October 31, 2017

  • Council, Allies Urge DOL to Extend Delay of Disability Claims Rule Effective Date
  • IRS Issues Further Relief for California Wildfires and Hurricane Maria Victims

October 27, 2017

  • IRS Employee Plans Memo Provides Guidelines for Missing Participant Audits
  • PBGC, IRS Provide Relief for Recent Disaster Victims in Louisiana and South Carolina

October 25, 2017

  • Court Rejects Call for Emergency Order Restoring CSRs
  • Regulatory Agencies Announce Cost-of-Living Adjustments for 2018 Tax Year

October 24, 2017

  • Council Pens Op-Ed on CSRs as Chairs of Congressional Tax-Writing Committees Unveil Health Care Stabilization Bill: Includes CSR Extension, ACA Mandate Relief, HSA Reforms

October 17, 2017

  • Committee Leaders Reach Bipartisan Agreement on Measure to Stabilize Individual Health Insurance Market
  • Targeted Advocacy at Work: Council Encourages PBGC Pilot Project to Resolve Disputes with Plan Sponsors

October 16, 2017

  • PBGC, IRS Provide Disaster Relief for Wildfires in California; Council Urges Uniform Guidance for All Disaster Relief
  • House Committee Passes Bill Repealing DOL Fiduciary Rule

October 13, 2017

  • Trump Administration to Cease ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Payments

October 12, 2017

  • New Executive Order Paves Way for Expanded HRAs, Association Health Plans, Short-Term Insurance
  • IRS Issues Guidance on Pension Plan Funding Methods

October 10, 2017

  • Administration Proposes 90-Day Delay of Final Disability Claims Regulations
  • Council Amicus Brief Advocates for Sound Fiduciary Process in 401(k) Case
  • Congress Enacts Retirement Plan Relief for Disaster Relief Victims

October 9, 2017

  • Trump Administration Broadly Expands Exemptions from ACA Contraceptive Mandate
  • IRS Permits Paid Leave Donation for Hurricane Maria Relief

October 4, 2017

  • Treasury, IRS Finalize Rules for 2018 Mortality Tables, Effective Starting January 1, 2018
  • HHS Pulls Back Proposed Regulations Requiring Certification of Compliance with HIPAA Standard Transactions
  • Proposal for Voluntary Prospective Reporting System Introduced in Senate

October 3, 2017

  • Council Urges DOL to Take Action on Unresponsive and Missing Participant Guidance; Cease Ad Hoc Enforcement
  • IRS, PBGC Issue Further Hurricane Relief
  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 11:  Congress and the Tax Reform Tightrope, Featuring Former Rep. Jim McCrery (R-LA), Partner with Capitol Counsel

September 27, 2017

  • Tax Reform Moves into Spotlight as Health Care Reform Recedes; ‘Big Six’ Unveil Outline with Revenue Provisions Absent
  • EEOC Releases Timeline for Reconsidering Wellness Rules
  • U.S. Senate Passes Measure Implementing Value-Based Insurance Design within Medicare Advantage
  • PBGC, IRS Issue Relief for Hurricane Maria Victims

September 25, 2017

  • Council Commends Retirement Savings Provisions in Disaster Relief Legislation; Urges Inclusion of SEAL Act
  • SEC Issues Guidance to Assist Compliance with Dodd-Frank Pay Ratio Rules
  • OMB to Review Disability Claims Regulation
  • Agencies Issue Further Relief for Hurricane Irma Victims

September 20, 2017

  • New GOP Repeal-and-Replace Bill to be Considered by the Full Senate
  • Council Pushes Congress for Full, Immediate Repeal of ‘Cadillac Tax’

September 19, 2017

  • Top Senate Finance Committee Democrats Signal Opposition to ‘Rothification’

September 15, 2017

  • Agencies Provide Further Relief for Hurricane Irma Victims: Paid Leave Donation, Compliance Guidance
  • Council Comments on Model Form for Mental Health Parity Disclosure

September 12, 2017

  • Agencies Issue Further Relief for Employers and Individuals Affected by Hurricanes Irma and Harvey
  • Council Renews Call for Funding of ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies as Senate Committee Discusses Stabilization of Individual Market
  • Obama-Era Overtime Rule Struck Down in District Court

September 7, 2017

  • IRS Permits Paid Leave Donation Without Charitable Organization Intermediary
  • Council Partners with Young Invincibles for Facebook LIVE Event on Retirement Savings
  • IRS Releases Draft Forms, Instructions for Calendar Year 2017 ACA Employer Reporting

September 6, 2017

  • Paid Leave Donation for Hurricane Harvey Victims
  • Council and CIEBA Voice Concerns, Submit Recommendations on Mortality Table Regulation
  • Career-building Opportunity – Deadline or Extension Requests due by Friday

August 31, 2017

  • DOL, IRS, PBGC Provide Relief for Victims of Hurricane Harvey
  • IRS Extends Frozen Defined Benefit Plan Relief through 2018

August 30, 2017

  • DOL Proposes 18-Month Delay of Fiduciary Rule, Invites Comments
  • OMB Suspends Pay Reporting Requirements of Revised EEO-1 Reports

August 29, 2017

  • IRS Provides Tax Deadline Relief for Victims of Hurricane Harvey
  • EBSA Updates ERISA Advisory Council on Missing Participant Audit Program, DOL Rule
  • Council Makes Regulatory Recommendations to PBGC

August 22, 2017

  • Federal Court Sends Final Wellness Regulations Back to EEOC for Further Review
  • Council Testifies for ERISA Advisory Council on Required Benefit Plan Disclosures

August 21, 2017

  • Council, Other Groups Offer Health Policy Recommendations in Letter to Congress
  • AICPA Proposed Auditing Standards Pose Concerns, Council-CIEBA Letter Says
  • Career-Building Opportunity for Benefits Professionals – Spread the Word!

August 15, 2017

  • Career-Building Opportunity for Benefits Professionals – Spread the Word!
  • American Benefits Council IN THE NEWS: Council Leaders Offer Perspective on Health Care Reform

August 10, 2017

  • Final Mortality Table Changes Sent to OMB and Classified as Economically Significant; Now Subject to Economic and Regulatory Review

August 9, 2017

  • DOL Extending Transition Period for Fiduciary Rule PTEs as Council Recommends Further Scrutiny
  • Career-Building Opportunity for Benefits Professionals – Spread the Word!

August 7, 2017

  • Council Urges Treasury to Reduce Benefit Plan Sponsor Burdens; Summary of Regulatory Agendas Now Available
  • DOL FAQs Clarify Fiduciary Advice for Retirement Plans, IRAs

August 4, 2017

  • CORRECTION: Council Still Evaluating Defined Benefit Pension Reform Bill
  • PBGC Projects Surplus in Single-Employer Pensions by 2022, Insolvency for Multiemployer Pensions by 2025

August 3, 2017

  • Council, Coalition Partners Urge Continued Funding of ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies

August 1, 2017

  • New Legislation Introduced to Reform Defined Benefit Pension Premiums
  • Council Letter to IRS Urges Immediate Delay in New Mortality Table Effective Date
  • Career-Building Opportunity for Benefits Professionals – Spread the Word!

July 31, 2017

  • Council Urges DOL to Weigh in on Unwarranted Fiduciary Duty Litigation
  • Council Provides Employer Voice on Mental Health Parity at HHS Listening Session

July 27, 2017

  • Health Care Update: Senate Approves “Cadillac” Tax Repeal Amendment in Largely Symbolic Vote; “Skinny” Bill Now Under Consideration
  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 10: The Council’s Health Policy Priorities, Featuring Katy Spangler, SVP, Health Policy
  • District Court Rejects Lawsuit Requesting Substitute of Pension Interest Rate

July 26, 2017

  • Health Care Update: Senate Rejects BCRA, ORRA; Smaller Repeal-Only Measure Likely
  • Council Urges DOL to Delay Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date to Reexamine Plan Sponsor Concerns

July 21, 2017

  • Updated BCRA and ACA Repeal Legislative Text, CBO Estimates Released
  • Council Joins Coalition Letter Urging Expansion of Preventive Care Safe Harbor in White House Executive Order
  • Department of Labor Reviewing Final Disability Claims Regulations for Delay, Amendment
  • Council, Others Voice Support for Bill to Prevent Retirement Plan ‘Leakage’

July 18, 2017

  • ACA Repeal & Replace Legislation Stalls, Various Options on Next Steps
  • Council Urges Senate Finance Committee to Support Employer Sponsored Benefits in Tax Reform Negotiations

July 17, 2017

  • Legislation to Repeal DOL Fiduciary Rule Discussed in House Subcommittee; SEC, Texas Court Weigh in on Rule
  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 9: The Trouble with Tax Reform, with Janice Mays, Former Democratic Chief Counsel and Staff Director, House Ways and Means Committee

July 13, 2017

  • Senate Unveils Latest Version of ACA Repeal-and-Replace Legislation; No Significant Changes for Employer Plans
  • Council Weighs In with HHS, CMS with Suggestions for Reducing ACA’s Regulatory Burdens

July 7, 2017

  • Second Circuit Rejects Defendants’ Appeal in Cash Balance ‘Wear Away’ Case
  • IRS Issues Changes to Opinion Letter Program for Pre-approved Plans

June 30, 2017

  • Council to Respond to DOL Request for Information on Fiduciary Rule
  • Opportunity for Emerging Benefits Professionals – Awards & Industry Recognition

June 29, 2017

  • Draft White House Executive Order Includes Key Council Priority: Expands HSA Safe Harbor Regarding Preventive Care
  • House Approves Medical Liability Reform Legislation
  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 8: Minding the National Savings Gap with John C. Scott of the Pew Charitable Trusts Retirement Research Project

June 28, 2017

  • As Senate Postpones Health Care Vote, Council Raises Concerns About Bill’s Potential Effect on ERISA

June 26, 2017

  • Senate Revises Its Health Care Measure, CBO Predicts 22 Million More Uninsured

June 22, 2017

  • Senate Unveils ACA Repeal-and-Replace ‘Discussion Draft’: Measure Delays ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Expands State Waivers
  • Administration Issues New Guidance on Mental Health Parity as Amended by ACA, 21st Century Cures Act

June 16, 2017

  • Treasury Department Soliciting Feedback on Regulatory Burdens
  • House Approves Several Targeted Health Care Bills

June 13, 2017

  • Council Joins with Other Trade Associations in Urging Senate to Repeal ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Avoid Taxing Employer-Sponsored Coverage
  • DOL/EBSA Panel Hears Testimony on Mandated Disclosures

June 9, 2017

  • HHS, CMS Request Input on Reducing ACA’s Regulatory Burdens & Improving Consumer Choice
  • Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Revisiting Fiduciary Standard for Investment Advice

June 6, 2017

  • ICYMI The Council in the News Today
  • Council Outlines Ten Principles for National Retirement Savings Policy

May 31, 2017

  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 6: The Millennial Workforce & What They Value with Young Invincibles’ Colin Seeberger
  • House Committee Approves Legislation Allowing AHCA Tax Credits for COBRA Coverage

May 25, 2017

  • Council Outlines Health Care Reform Priorities in Letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman
  • CBO, JCT Release Estimate of House-Passed Health Care Bill, Cost Savings and Coverage Losses Projected
  • Trump Administration’s FY 2018 Budget

May 23, 2017

  • Council Promotes Use of Technology in conjunction with House Committee Hearing on Retirement Plan Regulatory Burdens
  • June 9 Applicability Date of Fiduciary Rule Will Not Be Delayed
  • Council, Coalition Again Urge Congress, Trump Administration to Fund ACA Cost-Sharing Payments; Parties to litigation seek a 90 day delay to propose next steps
  • Council Supports Full Review of Retiree Health Case

May 15, 2017

  • New Legislation Would Restore Anti-Cutback Rule for Troubled Multiemployer Plans, Impose New Cap on Individual Retirement Savings Assets
  • PBGC Releases Clarifying Q&As on Early Warning Program

May 12, 2017

  • Council President James Klein Writes in The Hill Op-Ed: ‘State Action Poses Potential for Unintended Consequences’

May 9, 2017

  • House-Passed AHCA: Summaries Available; New Implications for Employer Plans
  • IRS Releases 2018 Indexed Amounts for HSAs, HDHPs

May 4, 2017

  • House Narrowly Approves ACA ‘Repeal and Replace’ Measure
  • Senate Passes Resolution Disapproving of State IRA Rules

May 3, 2017

  • House GOP Urges DOL to Delay Applicability Date of Fiduciary Rule; House Markup Discusses DOL Rule in Markup on CHOICE Act
  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 4: Talking Health Care Costs and Value-Based Insurance Design with Harvard Professor Michael Chernew

April 28, 2017

  • Bill to Reduce Retirement Plan Leakage Reintroduced; Council Voices Support

April 27, 2017

  • Trump Tax Proposal Mum on Specific Changes to Employee Benefit Plan Incentives
  • 2017 Form 5500 Annual Return/Report Omits New Supplemental IRS Questions

April 26, 2017

  • House Republicans Revive ACA Repeal-and-Replace Effort with New Amendment Empowering States
  • White House Reportedly to Continue Funding for ACA Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies
  • Council Voices Concern to PBGC on Updated Early Warning Program for Single-Employer Plans

April 21, 2017

  • American Benefits Podcast, Episode 3 with Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy: Talking Tax Reform, Retirement Policy & State Plans
  • Government Funding Deadline Nears, Council Urges No New PBGC Premium Increases

April 18, 2017

  • Council Recommends Changes to Fiduciary Rule to Alleviate Employer Burdens
  • Council, Others Formally Launch Save Our Savings, Coalition to Protect Employer-Based Retirement System
  • Bipartisan Lifetime Income Disclosure Legislation Introduced in Senate

April 17, 2017

  • Council Weighs in on Cost-Sharing Reduction Subsidies in Individual Market; HHS Provides Short-Term Fixes to Individual and Group Health Insurance Markets

April 7, 2017

  • American Benefits Podcast, Ep. 2 ft. Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy: A Closer Look at Repeal-and-Replace
  • Senate Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Retirement Security

April 6, 2017

  • House Rules Committee Amends ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bill Before Adjourning, Leaving Door Open for Further Consideration
  • Bipartisan Legislation Addressing “Frozen” Pension Issue Introduced; Council Voices Support

April 5, 2017

  • DOL Formally Delays Applicability Date of Fiduciary Rule by 60 Days

March 30, 2017

  • Council Letter to IRS Describes Potential Burdens Associated with Proposed Mortality Table Changes
  • Senate Sends to President Resolution Disapproving of Rules for Municipality Retirement Plans
  • Fiduciary Rule Update: IRS Provides Transition Relief
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Verifying Your Attendance in Webinars

March 24, 2017

  • Republicans Withdraw ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bill Before Vote; Next Steps Unclear
  • Council Details Employers’ Compliance Difficulties with ‘Pay Ratio’ Rule in Letter to SEC

March 21, 2017

  • House GOP Updates Repeal-and-Replace Health Bill, Delays “Cadillac Tax” One Additional Year

March 20, 2017

  • American Benefits Podcast, Ep. 1 ft. Cam Marston: How Generational Trends Shape the Workplace & Benefits
  • HHS Announces New Webpage for Administrative Action Updates, Next Phase of Health Care Reform

March 17, 2017

  • Council Voices Support of Fiduciary Rule Delay
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Benchmark Your Benefits with Council Member Surveys

March 16, 2017

  • ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bill Narrowly Approved By Budget Committee, Changes Likely in Next Phase

March 13, 2017

  • DOL Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy Regarding Fiduciary Rule Delay
  • American Benefits Council IN THE NEWS: Voicing Employer Concerns Amid Legislative, Regulatory Change

March 9, 2017

  • House Committees Approve ACA Repeal-and-Replace Measures
  • Education and the Workforce Committee Votes to Harmonize Wellness Program Rules
  • Council Testifies before IRS, Warns Against New Burdens in Proposed Defined Benefit Plan Distribution Rules

March 7, 2017

  • ACA Repeal-and-Replace Bill Delays “Cadillac Tax”
  • Council Renews Effort to Preserve Medicare Advantage in Light of Proposed Changes

March 3, 2017

  • New Benefits Blueprint Outlines Potential Executive Powers of Trump Administration
  • IRS Updates Compliance List, Continues Changes to Determination Letter Program

March 2, 2017

  • Council Touts Success of Workplace Wellness Plans in House Committee
  • Trump Administration Moves to Delay Fiduciary Rule Applicability Date
  • Council Health Reform ‘Checklist’ Sets Standards for ACA Repeal-and-Replace Measures
  • New Council Analysis Debunks Myths Surrounding Health Tax Policy

February 27, 2017

  • New Letter to Oregon Treasurer Reiterates Concerns about IRA Mandate
  • IRS Resolves Hardship Substantiation Procedures In Accordance with Council Recommendations

February 23, 2017

  • Mercer, Alliance to Fight the 40 Release Study Showing Impact of ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Capping Health Tax Exclusion
  • Council Cautions Against New Burdens in Proposed Defined Benefit Plan Distribution Rules
  • Council Suggests Improvements to IRS PEP Rules

February 16, 2017

  • First Look at ACA Repeal and Replace Plan: Good News, Bad News?
  • House Passes Resolutions Disapproving of State Retirement Plan Rules

February 15, 2017

  • CMS Proposes New Reforms for ACA Insurance Marketplace

February 14, 2017

  • Council Urges White House and Congress to Reject Proposals Capping Employee Tax Exclusion for Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage
  • House Lawmakers Object to State Retirement Plan Rules; Council Voices Support for Resolution

February 10, 2017

  • Council Requests Delayed Effective Date for Variation Margin Compliance
  • Council Weighs In with Ninth Circuit in 401(k) Fee Case

February 8, 2017

  • New Council Survey Data Shows Voter Opposition to Capping the Tax Exclusion for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

February 7, 2017

  • Council Urges White House to Provide Relief on ACA Employer Reporting

February 6, 2017

  • Presidential Executive Order Directs Possible Review of Dodd-Frank; SEC Reconsiders Pay Ratio Rule
  • Bill Promoting Open MEPs Introduced, Council Voices Support

February 3, 2017

  • Fiduciary Rule Update: Trump Administration Orders Review, Possible Revision

February 2, 2017

  • Council Releases Survey Data Showing Voter Support for Repeal of “Cadillac Tax”
  • Presidential Executive Order on Reducing Regulation and Controlling Regulatory Costs: Employee Benefits Implications
  • Measure to Move PBGC Premiums Off-Budget Introduced in House and Senate; Council Voices Support in Joint Letter

January 27, 2017

  • Seventh Circuit Rules Against EEOC in Challenge to Workplace Wellness Program
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Continuing Education Credits

January 24, 2017

  • Council Continues Push for ‘Cadillac Tax’ Repeal Bills; HHS Nominee Price Considers Options Beyond “Cadillac Tax”
  • Full Ninth Circuit Court Revives Fiduciary Suit, Rules for Plaintiffs
  • ERISA Advisory Council Issues Final Reports on Plan Transfers, Cybersecurity

January 19, 2017

  • HHS Secretary Nominee Offers Clues to Next Generation of Health Reform
  • IRS, Treasury Propose Allowing Forfeitures to Be Used for QMACs and QNECs

January 16, 2017

  • DOL Releases Separate FAQs for Advisers and Consumers on Fiduciary Rule
  • DOL Finalizes New Monetary Penalties for ERISA Violations

January 10, 2017

  • “Cadillac Tax” Repeal Bill Introduced in House, Senate
  • Bill to Delay Fiduciary Rule Introduced in House

January 6, 2017

  • PBGC Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate Urges More Cooperation, Outreach from Agency on Premiums, Penalties, Reportable Events
  • Federal District Court Denies AARP Request for Injunction of EEOC Wellness Regulations